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Help With Report Writing


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Hi everybody

 

I am a 1st year on the FDEY and we are doing study skills and behaviour managment at the mo.

I would lkie some help with report writing we have just been told to write a hypothis on any thing we would like. Given a sheet on how to write a report and a book about harvard referancing. So could somebody explain the what a methadoligy is in simle terms and the lit search as i am going around in circles. I have collated alot of reaeasrch stuff but dont know what to do with it and the tutour has said she has coverd it the other week and that is that. I was of that day the breavement in the family.

My hypohisis in that daycare can be detrmental to the child's attachment to parents and carers. I seem to have got loads of stuff on evertying that is wrong with day care, newsapaer cutting etc but i am not sure as it is secondary reaserch if i am suppose to just use books and the stuff i want to put in wheree does it go e.g attachment bonds, sepreation anxierty

sorry if i ahve gone on to much but i dont know if anybody else has this problem but out tutors aare so well you shoukd ubderstand but i think they forget thet alot of use have not studied properly for a long time

thank you

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Hi bluebelle, first of all dont panic too much, there is plenty of help here. It is very daunting going back to study and thinking in 'academic' mode after many years and it is a shame if your tutors dont realise this.

 

It might be helpful if you can give us more information about what it is you are being asked to do (for example do you have an essay or project title?) You mention an hypothesis and writing a report..does that mean you have to create your hypothesis and then write a report on what you find out? Are you expected to state how you might research your hypothesis yourself or just to find evidence supporting your hypothesis (or otherwise). Are you writing a theoretical account of how you might carry out a piece of research yourself? And how long is it meant to be?

 

A methodology is really HOW you are going to find something out. If doing your own research, you would explain what your problem is (your hypothesis), and then how are you going to find out if what you are claiming is true or not? (for example are you going to interview parents or childcare workers; use a questionnaire; base your report on already completed reserach?).

 

Your literature research or review consists of you pulling together previous research in the area you are studying. It should cover opposing views assuming that you can find some.and then you can argue why you have come to the stance you have yourself. These are then referenced in your report using the Harvard referencing system.

 

Im not sure if that is of any help to you, if not Im sure someone else will pop along soon and somehting else to offer.

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Hi there,

Just a few words to add to what Mundia said.

 

A methodology in simple terms should contain the following information:

Design - What you used to gather your research, e.g. questionnaires, interviews.

Participants - Who were your sample? How many were there? Gender? Age of participants? How your chose your participants - were they chosen at random or did you have some sort of criteria in mind?

Materials - A little more about what you used, i.e questionnaire: Briefly describe what type of questions you used - were they based on a Likert type scale (strongly agree, agree, undecided...) or dichtonomous yes/no response (or a combination of both). Was it a postal survey or did you hand the questionnaires out yourself? Was it piloted? If so were there any changes made afterwards?

Procedure - Any other info on how you did it, i.e. cost of research, posted by second class post, dates, type of package used to process the data, e.g. Excel.

Basically, what we were always told was that another person should be able to read your methodology and carry out the research in exactly the same way - i.e. no variables should be left unanswered.

However, the amount of content you put into your methodology will vary greatly on the size of your research/word limit etc. I am guessing if you are in 1st year, the methodology does not need to be very big, and as Mundia said it basically shows how you carried out your research - the above should maybe help with the types of questions you need to ask yourself.

 

The Literature Review is basically summarising other people's research on the topic you have chosen, and as Mundia said it needs to contain opposing views as it is supposed to be a critical reflection on your topic.

 

As you have found out, one of the difficulties with writing a report and carrying out research is that whatever topic you choose, there is normally an abundance of reseach already out there. You have made a good start though by choosing what you want to investigate.

 

What I would say about organising your lit review is:

(1) Start to organise other people's research into themes - i.e. you have already mentioned attachment, separation anxiety - so note down what people are saying about these, e.g. Smith (2000) suggested that children in daycare find separating from their carers difficult. This then leads to ... later on in life. If you read another article where someone different is saying the same sort of thing, add their name in as well so it reads Smith (2000) and Bloggs (2000) suggested... If they say something different then note this down. You will then have lots of info under the heading of 'Attachment'. Do the same for other common themes.

(2) Look at what you have and decide what is really related to your area of research. This is where good editing comes in because it is easy to go off on a tangent.

(3) Look at the common themes you are using and decide if there is anything which really needs to be at the beginning - to set the scene. Is there anything which follows on neatly from what you have just said.

 

Your research should then funnel down to the point where you say - "Therefore, the aim of this reseach will be to..."

 

i.e. the reader can see how its obvious why you are going to write a report about your chosen area.

By the way - easier said than done - I know :)

 

To be honest, I also am of the opinion that a report/research should be of an investigative, questionning nature, rather than a hypothesis, i.e. the point of research is to find something out, rather than starting with a statement and trying to be proved right or wrong. Although if your tutor has told you to construct a hypothesis then you should of course do this.

 

In terms of your query about secondary research its always better to reference someones own work rather than referencing what someone else has said about someones work (if you know what I mean). By their nature, Newspaper articles and Books generally summarise someone elses research, but journal authors have usually carried out their own research.

 

Anyway, I can see my 'few words' turned into a lot more :o and I hope I havent confused you further. If you have anymore questions then feel free to ask, and as Mundia said, a lot of this depends on how big your report is supposed to be, i.e. 1000 words, 8000 words - it will make a big difference to the content you put in.

Good luck

Goldilocks

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Hi there,

Just a few words to add to what Mundia said.

 

A methodology in simple terms should contain the following information:

Design - What you used to gather your research, e.g. questionnaires, interviews.

Participants - Who were your sample? How many were there? Gender? Age of participants? How your chose your participants - were they chosen at random or did you have some sort of criteria in mind?

Materials - A little more about what you used, i.e questionnaire: Briefly describe what type of questions you used - were they based on a Likert type scale (strongly agree, agree, undecided...) or dichtonomous yes/no response (or a combination of both).  Was it a postal survey or did you hand the questionnaires out yourself? Was it piloted? If so were there any changes made afterwards?

Procedure - Any other info on how you did it, i.e. cost of research, posted by second class post, dates, type of package used to process the data, e.g. Excel.

Basically, what we were always told was that another person should be able to read your methodology and carry out the research in exactly the same way - i.e. no variables should be left unanswered.

However, the amount of content you put into your methodology will vary greatly on the size of your research/word limit etc.  I am guessing if you are in 1st year, the methodology does not need to be very big, and as Mundia said it basically shows how you carried out your research - the above should maybe help with the types of questions you need to ask yourself.

 

The Literature Review is basically summarising other people's research on the topic you have chosen, and as Mundia said it needs to contain opposing views as it is supposed to be a critical reflection on your topic.

 

As you have found out, one of the difficulties with writing a report and carrying out research is that whatever topic you choose, there is normally an abundance of reseach already out there.  You have made a good start though by choosing what you want to investigate.

 

What I would say about organising your lit review is:

(1) Start to organise other people's research into themes - i.e. you have already mentioned attachment, separation anxiety - so note down what people are saying about these, e.g. Smith (2000) suggested that children in daycare find separating from their carers difficult.  This then leads to ... later on in life.  If you read another article where someone different is saying the same sort of thing, add their name in as well so it reads Smith (2000) and Bloggs (2000) suggested... If they say something different then note this down.  You will then have lots of info under the heading of 'Attachment'.  Do the same for other common themes.

(2) Look at what you have and decide what is really related to your area of research.  This is where good editing comes in because it is easy to go off on a tangent. 

(3) Look at the common themes you are using and decide if there is anything which really needs to be at the beginning - to set the scene.  Is there anything which follows on neatly from what you have just said.

 

Your research should then funnel down to the point where you say - "Therefore, the aim of this reseach will be to..."

 

i.e. the reader can see how its obvious why you are going to write a report about your chosen area.

By the way - easier said than done - I know  :)

 

To be honest, I also am of the opinion that a report/research should be of an investigative, questionning nature, rather than a hypothesis, i.e. the point of research is to find something out, rather than starting with a statement and trying to be proved right or wrong.  Although if your tutor has told you to construct a hypothesis then you should of course do this.

 

In terms of your query about secondary research its always better to reference someones own work rather than referencing what someone else has said about someones work (if you know what I mean).  By their nature, Newspaper articles and Books generally summarise someone elses research, but journal authors have usually carried out their own research.

 

Anyway, I can see my 'few words' turned into a lot more  :o  and I hope I havent confused you further.  If you have anymore questions then feel free to ask, and as Mundia said, a lot of this depends on how big your report is supposed to be, i.e. 1000 words, 8000 words - it will make a big difference to the content you put in.

Good luck

Goldilocks

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Hi guys

 

Thankyou for your help i have beed to collage tonight and found out i am not the only one not getting it. I have looked at your advice and it has really helped as my word count is 2000 so hopefully I will be ok . I have gone abit mad with collecting books and stuff so i need to narrow it down. I have been given another report to do in behaviour managment for 2 weeks time so i should be an expert by then.

Thanks again blue

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